BBC spent £20,000 on staff taxis

Romsey Advertiser: The BBC has come under fire for its use of public money The BBC has come under fire for its use of public money

BBC bosses spent more than £20,000 on taxis in three months, according to figures released by the corporation.

Expenses claimed by senior managers in the second quarter of 2013-14 included a total of £21,533 for taxis, down from £23, 539 on the previous quarter.

A BBC spokesman said: "Taxi spend is down 9% since the last quarter, however, the BBC is a 24-hour organisation with offices across the UK, and in common with many large businesses it will incur some taxi costs. The cheapest method of travel is always encouraged - on occasion taxi journeys are permitted in exceptional circumstances or where there are time constraints."

Among the expenses claims made by staff include £1,020.94 by Head of News Programmes Ceri Thomas for "hospitality" for nine staff at a " BBC/Bank of England Event".

More unusual claims include £74.21 on a book called Golf Courses: Great Britain and Ireland by the BBC's comedy chief Shane Allen who also claimed £16.78 for a copy of American actor Ricky Jay's book Jay's Journal of Anomalies .

A BBC spokeswoman said: "A s with any major organisation, the BBC recognises that modest gifts for business contacts is sometimes necessary but we have guidelines in place to ensure we keep tight control on costs."

The corporation has come under fire recently for its use of public money with excessive pay-offs to staff and the failed Digital Media Initiative, which was scrapped at the cost of almost £100 million, heavily criticised.

The BBC said the latest figures also showed the number of senior managers and the associated pay bill had fallen between August 2012 and August 2013.

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